by Saasha Plefka
Infant massage has been practiced all over the world for centuries. It is a common childcare practice in many cultures. It has recently become more prevalent in North America and Europe, as medical studies along with various research have proven its many benefits.
- Premature infants who are regularly massaged are hospitalized an average of six fewer days than non-massaged babies. Hospital charges average $10,000 less for massaged babies! (USA Today, May 28, 1996)
- All infants, whether premature, underweight, or healthy/full-term, thrive and benefit from massage.
- One study showed massaged infants gained 47% more weight than unmassaged infants given the same number of calories. (Tiffany Fields, University of Miami School of Medicine, “Tactile Kinesthetic Stimulation Effects on Preterm Neonates” Pediatrics Journal #777, 1986)
- Massaged babies are more alert when awake, more easy to soothe, and readily able to sleep.
- Massage teaches a baby how to relax.
- Massaged infants showed better performance on the Brazelton Scale with habituation, orientation, motor activity and regulation of behavior.
- Massage promotes emotional security, respect and a healthy body image.
- Infant massage stimulates digestion, the passing of gas, and relieves the symptoms of colic.
- Massage increases circulation and can assist with normal growing pains.
- When parents massage their babies, they promote quality time, create better bonding and increase confidence in their own parenting skills. They enhance intimacy, understanding and the ability to nurture.
- Nurturing touch is a natural way to relieve stress for both caregiver and baby.
- A parent who massages his or her infant becomes more aware of the baby’s cues and learns to understand the baby’s special and unique needs.
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
President of Sweet Cheeks LLC
She is also the founder and CEO of Sweet Cheeks LLC, a company that develops and markets skincare products specifically designed for infant massage and babies’ sensitive skin. Sweet Cheeks products can be found on the internet at www.BabySweetCheeks.com and many other online retailers. It is also available at baby boutiques and gift shops throughout the US and Canada.
Saasha is a member of the Junior League of Hartford, where she is actively involved in the community. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California and a Master’s Degree from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is mother to lovely Chloe, a vivacious four year old, Corinna, a newborn who loves massage time, and wife to Tommy, a great dad and partner.
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